Media Coverage

Manson Denied Parole for 15 Years

For the first time in 30 years, Charles Manson is represented by an attorney at a parole hearing. Manson will not be eligible for parole until he is 92.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | By Bo Emerson

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Corcoran, Calif. - Charles Manson was denied parole today for the 12th time at a hearing in Corcoran State Prison. Manson, 77, refused to attend the hearing but sent an attorney to represent him. It was the first time Manson had an attorney represent him at a hearing since 1981.

At the 1981 hearing, state-appointed attorney Glen DeRonde argued from Manson’s release from solitary confinement, not for his parole.

“Perhaps he would be more rational in this world if he had not been locked up for 12 years in the nut ward,” said DeRonde.

Today Manson's state-appointed attorney DeJon R. Lewis argued that Charlie be moved to Atascadero State Hospital.

Manson, has now skipped three consecutive hearings, with his last appearance to one 15 years ago in 1997.

Manson was convicted and sentenced to death in 1971 for orchestrating the murder spree that claimed 9 lives, including the 8 1/2 months pregnant actress Sharon Tate.

The following year, the California supreme court outlawed the death penalty, claiming it unconstitutional. Charlie's sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, making him eligible for parole in 1978. He is currently serving 9 concurrent life terms.

The Board of Prison Terms unanimously denied Manson’s parole for 15 years.

The next parole hearing for a Manson family member will be in mid June when Bruce Davis will go before the board for the 27th time. Unlike Manson, Davis has a good chance at getting paroled. At his last hearing in January of 2010 the Board of Prison Terms recommended Davis for parole. However, then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected the recommendation saying, “I believe his release would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society at this time.”

Bruce Davis was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea. In prison he became a born-again Christian and helped other imprisoned family members do the same.

What will stand in Davis’ way if the Board of Prison Terms again recommends him for parole? According to an AP report in February, current California Governor Jerry Brown has allowed about 80 percent of decisions by the parole board to free convicted killers. Former Governor Schwarzenegger had allowed only 25 percent while former Governor Gray Davis allowed just 2 percent to walk free.

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